Wandering around through the labyrinthine corridors of Lady’s Light was becoming rather tedious for most of the Acolytes, they were losing focus…and some were starting to fall behind. Maggot, Caladriel and their “here one minute – gone the next” ally Black Widow had disappeared somewhere between this room and the last, probably via the woman’s teleportation device.
The remaining Acolytes found themselves in a small heptagonal chamber, the walls polished to a high sheen, an engraved red metal door stood in the center of the eastern wall. The only other feature was a tile mosaic set in the floor of the chamber depicting a coiled serpent.
Rogue, Doomsday, Sabretooth, Deathstroke, Poison Ivy and Tug made a quick search of the room before passing through the red door and into another room. The floor of its two wings are decorated with circular snake mosaics twice the size of those in the smaller room. One snake was gold, the other a red metallic color; a 3-foot-tall post capped by a horizontally aligned wheel protruded from the center of each mosaic. There were four doors into the chamber, including the one they had entered through, each opening on to a room identical to the one they’d teleported to initially.
Sabretooth walked to the post in the golden serpent and began turning one of the wheels much to Ivy’s chagrin.
“Having fun trying kill us all with a possible trap?” she scolded.
“I’m bored with this circus, I ain’t spending any more time than I have ta.” replied Sabretooth pausing to glare at Ivy.
“Keen to meet your” Ivy was cut off by Doomsday’s growling.
“Aw, ya know how Doomsday gets when ya argue.” Rogue interjected smarmily.
Deathstroke rolled his eye, but refrained from commenting.
They all looked down at the mosaic.
“It moved 45 degrees,” said Sabretooth.
“It must be safe then, but just a word of warning, Sabretooth, we really don’t need another Harold. We’re smarter than that.” Ivy replied stepping further away from the serpent and any trap it might contain.
“Doomsday turn the other one and see if we can get it to do something,” instructed Sabretooth.
Doomsday moved to the other post and began turning it as well, after a complete circuit nothing had happened and the two looked to the women for suggestions.
“How ‘bout y’all face ‘em toward each other?’ offered Rogue.
Sabretooth nodded and began turning the wheel again; Doomsday took the cue and did the same. Once the serpents pointed towards each the room began to fill up with a semitransparent curtain of golden mist.
“Ya know that thing ya said about being smarter, Ivy?” said Sabretooth as he stepped back into one of the smaller rooms. The rest of the acolytes rushed to follow suit and stepped into the rooms off the chamber.
“You know, it looks like the light from the other teleportation devices, I’ll send Tug through, he can let us know where it goes,” Ivy said after a moment.
Tug, the crawling vine made his way into the center of the room and promptly vanished with golden mist.
Doomsday grunted demandingly.
“I’m trying to find out where he is,” Ivy replied in an annoyed tone, “it’s a large round room made of marble…” her sentence was cut off short by a loud scream as she collapsed to her hands and knees. Fury and pain echoed in her voice as she said “Someone is burning my baby!” After she had collected her wits, she climbed back to her feet and headed back into the central chamber. “We have to go now.”
The rest of the Acolytes quickly gathered into the center room; Doomsday and Sabretooth reset the mosaics as they all drew their weapons, ready for the confrontation ahead. As soon as the snake heads lined up, they disappeared in a golden flash of light.
The room they appeared in was an ovoid, white marble chamber. It was an opulent, domed affair, with a ceiling of polished silver that curved twenty feet above them. Another pair of mosaic snakes decorated the floor to the north and south. Polished black marble pillars rose up along the edges of the room. A half-naked Gray maiden hung suspended from a pair of manacles anchored to a pair pillars. The blood on the floor below her already congealed, a gapping cut across her throat the likely source.
Articles of armor and clothing lie scattered on the floor. A raised platform is located on the south side of the room, strewn with furs and blankets; at its back near the wall was an enormous canopied bed. Blood stains the bed and the rest of what used to be a naked gray maiden.
The Acolytes find the cause of Ivy’s distress, Sorshen, the woman whose image is displayed throughout the Lady’s Light. She was tangled in the grasp of a burnt vine.
At the sight of the Rune lord, Deathstroke immediately fired a shot at Sorshen missing by mere inches. Sorshen distracted from her struggle with Tug looked up and smiled at the approaching Acolytes before vanishing from the room.
Shocked by the sudden departure the Acolytes looked to each in stunned silence, waiting on edge for a surprise attack.
“Okay, that was weird.” Ivy remarked after a protracted silence.
“Yeah…why do ya think…?” Rogue asked glancing questioningly around the room.
After take a quick sniff of the air Sabretooth growled. “She ain’t here.”
Ivy shook her head in answer to Rogue and then moved to Tug’s side taking stock of his wounds and doing what she could to heal them. “Perhaps we should search the room.” She suggested over her shoulder as she began rubbing some Fire Ward Gel over Tug’s skin.
Beyond the discarded remnants of armor and clothes scattered around the room, the only real find is a set of gems hidden near the bed. The gems appear to fit the depression in the mosaic serpents’ eyes.
“It’s probably another teleport.” Rogue said looking down at the serpent at the north side of the room.
“Well I’m not sending Tug anywhere alone again.” Ivy said, patting Tug soothingly.
“Don’t worry shuga, we’ll stay together.” Rogue assured her.
“Okay so we’ll put the stones in and see what happens.” Sabretooth said as he crouched next to the southern serpent gem in hand.
Rogue nodded in agreement and reached out with the other ready to set it in place at his signal.
Doomsday made a growl of approval and pulled his axe, standing a few feet from Sabretooth he looked eager for the next fight. Deathstroke watched from his vantage point next to Sabretooth as they dropped the stones into place in unison.
Doomsday, Deathstroke and Sabretooth found themselves in a small room. The walls of the oddly shaped room appeared strangely molded, the surfaces like sweaty pink clay with bits of glittering crystal. The floor looked like dry, cracked mud, a dark red in color, and the ceiling arched only 8 feet overhead. A disturbing sound filled the space, resembling the endless exhalation of some bizarre, hulking beast. A mosaic of a coiled snake was inlaid in the floor of the small alcove off to the side, all along the walls of the strange room sat numerous interesting-looking objects but none were more intriguing than the triangular shard of red metal that sat alone on a shelf at eye level.
“Where’s the girls,” Sabretooth asked suddenly.
Deathstroke glanced around, “Must have been two separate teleportation devices.”
Sabretooth shrugged before setting about slowly and carefully scouting the small room looking for any signs aggression or traps. After finding nothing dangerous Deathstroke pointed to the triangular gemstone. “That look very similar to the other shards. My guess would be it is the shard of lust.”
Sabretooth nodded and pulled out a small sack which he then placed over his hand. Using the sack as a make shift glove he carefully picked up the shard, then flipped the sides up over it before tying the end tightly. He then shoved the sack into his backpack pocket.
“Well, I don’t feel like a whore. Let’s pack this shit up and get out of here.”
After packing everything up they used the teleportation device to return to Sorshen’s bedchamber.
Ivy looked around, they were back in the banquet hall, fortunately, it didn’t look as though anyone was getting ready to shoot any fireballs at them. It took a moment for her to realize that while she, Rogue and Tug were present and accounted for, Sabretooth, Doomsday and Deathstroke were nowhere to be seen.
“You have got to be fucking kidding me.” She said as she met Rogue’s eyes.
“Two teleports?” Rogue responded looking around.
“Do you remember the way back to that room?” Ivy asked, shaking her head in frustration.
“I’m sure we’ll find…” Rogue stopped abruptly as Sorshen appeared a few feet away and smiled seductively at them. “New adherents for my order, how lovely, you shall spread my word and the faithful shall flourish, come join me now.” She spoke in a husky contralto voice that seemed well suited to a woman well versed in the carnal arts. The tone gently beguiling, it seemed to stir something inside Rogue and she took a half step forward, before Ivy reached out to grasp her arm bringing her back to herself.
“We’re not here to serve you…we serve another, perhaps you’ve heard of our lord? Doom?” Ivy replied trying her own brand of enchantment, Sorshen seemed unmoved by it, and smiled patronizingly at them.
“He sent us in search of the shard of lust, do you know it?” Ivy continued desperately wanting to avoid a confrontation she was almost certain she and Rogue would not survive.
“I know nothing of doom, but of desires I am mistress. Come serve me and all that you wish for shall be yours, I ask nothing but that you serve me faithfully and spread my word to all you meet.” She replied her tone husky, the voice of a woman well sated.
“We met some of the ladies servin ya already shuga, what’d the Grey Maiden’s desire?” Rogue asked skeptism creeping into her voice as she thought of the remains they’d found in Sorshen’s bedchamber.
Sorshen frowned for a moment before answering. “They wished but to serve me.” She looked to Ivy. “What are your desires, serve me and they shall be yours.”
Ivy gave a small strained smile, “Oh, I’m not one for indoor work, a nice patch of sunshine, a bit of grass and I’m good.” How the hell were they going to get out of this she wondered, if they turned the woman down she was sure to kill them, and if they said yes….well she was still sure to kill them.
Sorshen starred at the two women, confused by their reluctance to join her, dismayed at the lack of desire they seemed to feel. She’d tried to stir their desires, her magic flooding the room meant to heighten their need to be touched and caressed, to make them willing…but they seemed unaffected.
“Come serve me, spread my word, all will be well, you may have your sunshine as you desire.” She offered at her most coercive.
Ivy looked at Rogue, at a loss as to what to do, before turning to look again at Sorshen, “Uhm…could we maybe have a few days to consider it? This is a big decision…” she trailed of giving Sorshen a hopeful look.
Sorshen frowned but nodded. “Of course, come to me when you have made your decision.” She nodded once more at the women and vanished from the ballroom.
“I…” Ivy started and then stopped words completely deserting her.
“Yeah,” Rogue replied starring at the space where the Rune Lord had stood.
Tug, apparently the only one not confused by the entire exchange rose and began making his way back towards the room and the staircase beyond.
Ivy shook her head after a moment, and followed him out of the room. Rogue glanced back around the banquet hall before joining them.
Sabretooth, Doomsday and Deathstroke had just appeared back in Sorshen room, when Ivy, Tug and Rogue reappeared.
“Have you guys seen Sorshen?” Ivy asked after a moment.
“No, but we got the shard, let’s get out of here. Where’s the other teleport go?” Sabretooth replied.
“It leads to the banquet hall.” Rogue replied somewhat distractedly.
“Good, let’s go.” Deathstroke said as he walked to the northern serpent.
The other’s joined him and they were soon standing back in the ballroom.
Ivy and Rogue kept glancing around as though they expected something to happen at any moment, but they made it safely from the room, once the men had collected all the gear and treasure that had been left there.
Making their way back through the building and down to the boats was a rather long procedure as Sabretooth and Deathstroke insisted they pick up everything that could be sold once they got back to Magnimar.
Fortunately they found Maggot, Thoth and Caladrel, in the library where they had been researching the history of the shards. Harald, they located still in the Giantess’s Hall, he had been attempting to raise her corpse to serve as one of his undead minions. Apparently it had not gone very well. With the help of the rest of the party they were all able to make it out of Lady’s Light a good deal richer than when they had gone in.
Sabretooth ensures that the boats and the painting of Sorshen that teleports travellers into the watery cavern are destroyed.
As they were exiting, Sabretooth began eyeing the form in the coffin. The jewels there tempted him, and he was reaching out to grab the necklace when Ivy slapped his hand away.
“What the hell do you think yer doin woman?” He growled as he glared at her.
“Ensuring my happy and speedy exit from this god forsaken place,” Ivy snapped in reply.
“What’s that mean?” He asked through clenched teeth.
“It means…there’s some sort of spell on that coffin, which probably means it trapped…However if you really just have to know what type of sadomasochistic magic it’s imbued with…be my guest?” She answered after taking a deep breath.
“Oh…right.” He replied as he readjusted his backpack. “Guess we should just go.”
Ivy smiled tightly.
“Why don’t we?” As she watched him walk from the room she took another breath and looked around the room, the worry in her eyes clearly evident. Somehow she doubted this was the last they’d hear from Sorshen.
The airship and its crew were waiting for the signal flair and landed within moments, allowing the Acolytes to board and load their ill-gotten gains with no more trouble. The flight back to the city was uneventful and allowed all the Acolytes to begin the process of recovering from their ordeal and sift through the treasure for any items they wanted to keep.
Doomsday, Rogue, Poison Ivy, Deathstroke get 2840gp Sabretooth gets 1560gp Gambit gets 1280gp